Science in Schools Presenter
From a small child Sarah-Jane was fascinated by finding out how things work, even if that meant taking apart the jewelry box to find out what was making the ballerina go round. Science helped her to answer such questions, so her school years were filled with as many science classes as possible – along with drama, her next favorite past time after ripping household items apart. Whilst studying towards an Aquatic Bioscience degree at the University of Glasgow, Sarah-Jane took a module called Science Communication and in doing so unexpectedly discovered her future career path. Sarah-Jane has held a variety of different roles in science engagement over the past 14 years, working in a range of mediums including online and exhibition development. Freelance contracts have included work for the Channel 4, Newcastle City of Science, the British Council and Café Scientifique.
In 2011 Sarah-Jane moved to Australia to manage science outreach programs for the University of Newcastle, New South Wales. The highlight of her four years in Australia was performing in aboriginal schools in some of the most remote parts of the world. She believes she may have been the first science communicator with their own chauffer-flown plane! Sarah-Jane has now returned to the UK to undertake a PhD at the University of Warwick looking at informal science learning, but she continues to teach science communication in Australia via the wonder of fibre optic cables.
My first year science teacher Dr Hameed. Before that point, all my science lessons had been booked-based and very dry. She brought science to life for her students through demos and hands-on experience. Her enthusiasm for the subject was obvious and infectious. Perhaps more importantly she gave me confidence in my ability as a scientist and as a rather glamorous lady, broke down stereotypes of what a scientist was.
Sticky Water, a demo where you use a bit of net and surface tensions to 'magically' make water stay in an upright bottle. I love the simplicity of this demo and the fact that it’s such a common, everyday, phenomenon but this particular demo its still relatively unknown, hence it gets such an amazing reaction. I love the fact that kids, even those in remote aboriginal communities, can easily access the household materials that make up the kit to impress their friends and family with their new knowledge.
Its long history! When you tell people you are a Science Communicator they more often than not don’t know what you are talking about and this can make you feel like you are working in a relatively new and unknown field. However then you remember the 200 plus years of the Ri and the many prestigious names that have worked to the same goal as you are today, and it makes you realise how lucky you are to part of such a long established and meaningful field.